When we lived in Nashville in the late nineties, I was a frequent
shopper so to speak at the Humane Society. I would stop by a
couple times a week and donate supplies, take a look at all the
pets, and check on which ones had been adopted. Every now and
then if there was a particularly challenged animal, malnourished
or with a messy coat , I would take it home and nurse it
until it became more adoptable.

There was one cat, Max, that especially drew my attention. One
cold night, Max had crawled under the hood of a car and onto the
still-warm engine. When the owner of the car started up the
engine the next morning, he heard the loud cry as Max’s back
received an awful wound about six inches long. The owner of the
car was kind enough to bring Max to the shelter and the vet did
what he could, but Max was a sorry sight. He had no fur left on
his back and the fur he did have on the rest of his body was odd
to say the least.
“What breed of cat is Max?” I asked one day.
“I don’t think Max has any particularly dominating breed,” the
girl cleaning out the cages said. “I’m not sure how we’ll ever get
him adopted. He’s a bit of everything!”
I took Max home that day.
He was one of the sweetest animals I have ever had the joy of
loving. It seemed to me that his devotion came from someone
seeing beyond his wounds to his wonderful heart.
Perhaps that is what is most striking about Christ’s encounter
with the Samaritan woman at the well: He saw beyond her
culture, her gender and her string of broken relationships that
she wore like a scarlet letter.

He saw a woman who was worth dying for and that would bind her heart to His, all her heart, and she would never forget that.

If you have ever felt like a stray or one who wears a scarlet letter,
don’t be surprised when God’s love takes you in.